Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (2/2/2020: Drop + THX Panda review added)
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SierraMadre

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All the games that i play regularly are designed to output surround sound so that's not an issue. Any thoughts?
But you also said you had no means of down-mixing into VSS which would be the whole point of a employing a separate VSS solution. . .

If all the games you play already have in-game / pre-programmed VSS solutions which you are happy with then adding a further software solution would be equivalent to double binauralisation which could end up being detrimental.

It would be best to choose one or the other for VSS. Either stick with the game’s own solution and don’t worry about software VSS, or, get a hardware based solution such as a G6 for what is usually superior virtualisation.
 
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ronfifer

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But doesn't the G6 employ double binauralisation too by using its own propriety pro-studio SBX DSP instead of passing through Dolby or DTS etc...?
 
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SierraMadre

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But doesn't the G6 employ double binauralisation too by using its own propriety pro-studio SBX DSP instead of passing through Dolby or DTS etc...?
No. You appear to be confusing the likes of Dolby headphone and DTS headphone (which are binauralisation algorithms applied to compatible discrete multichannel source content for output as 2 channel VSS) with Dolby digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 which are the vanilla, ‘yet-to-be-binauralised’ discrete multichannel source forms meant for surround speaker setups.

Applying SBX to convert dolby digital (optical) or multichannel PCM (USB) into 2 channel VSS for output to headphones is where the binauralisation comes into play. G6 / SBX can’t process DTS btw.
 
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stavros.m

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Hey would you guys buy the SHP9500 for 86$ CDN. I currently have the dt990's but would like to be able to connect to console also. Or would that be a big downgrade? This is only for gaming an occasional watching a tv episode or movie.

thanks
 
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SierraMadre

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Hey would you guys buy the SHP9500 for 86$ CDN. I currently have the dt990's but would like to be able to connect to console also. Or would that be a big downgrade? This is only for gaming an occasional watching a tv episode or movie.

thanks
The SHP9500 are a good pair of cans but why not just spend a bit more and get a dac/amp instead that can power your DT990s from console? The Creative G6 would be fine for that.
 
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halcyon

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His sig mentions HD598.

Re GSX surround, I don’t have extensive experience with GSX1000 beyond limited testing of a friend’s. I own devices for SBX, SXFI, Waves NX, Atmos for headphone, DTS X, pretty much all the usual suspects. How would you say GSX compares in terms of projecting depth (center channel etc.) and the effect of virtualisation on fidelity?
I have only compared:

X-Fi Elite (CMMS-3D), Audeze Mobius (WavesNX), SoundBlaster X7 (SBX Pro Studio) and GSX 1200 (Sennheiser Algo).

For me, on my 3D FPS 5.1/7.1 discrete channel output into VSS headphone tests, the most accurate in terms of 360 degree horizontal plane positioning (direction, not distance) is GSX 1200, then followed by CSS3D/SBX Pro. I never liked/used WavesNX enough to do dedicated 1to1 comparison with others, but based on my head, my testing and the settings I used, it was below in directional accuracy.

Depth, size, size of sound stage, etc. those are to me more of a "feeling" thing as there is NO way the algo can properly/accurately calculate that out of the discrete 7.1 signals, when they don't themselves have enough (discrete) depth/sizing information. It's all guess work, reverb, echo and some phase shifting.

To me, in 3D FPS shooter, the accuracy of direction is what matters. Of coures, the sound can't be muffled, without bass or losing audio streams (i.e. can't render all 7.1. discrete sounds properly). Those have be done properly too.

Still, in the end, the difference amongst the aforementioned algos is NOT that huge (imho, I'm not a competitive gamer) and I think that one can learn to use any of them (with proper settings) and learn each one's pros/cons.

I have no direct head-2-head comparison experience with DTS X Headphone or Dolby Atmos. Only the software simulated (Windows driver pack) versions and I find them artificial, boomey, echoey and lacking in directional accuracy (YMMV).
 
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SierraMadre

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I have only compared:

X-Fi Elite (CMMS-3D), Audeze Mobius (WavesNX), SoundBlaster X7 (SBX Pro Studio) and GSX 1200 (Sennheiser Algo).

For me, on my 3D FPS 5.1/7.1 discrete channel output into VSS headphone tests, the most accurate in terms of 360 degree horizontal plane positioning (direction, not distance) is GSX 1200, then followed by CSS3D/SBX Pro. I never liked/used WavesNX enough to do dedicated 1to1 comparison with others, but based on my head, my testing and the settings I used, it was below in directional accuracy.

Depth, size, size of sound stage, etc. those are to me more of a "feeling" thing as there is NO way the algo can properly/accurately calculate that out of the discrete 7.1 signals, when they don't themselves have enough (discrete) depth/sizing information. It's all guess work, reverb, echo and some phase shifting.

To me, in 3D FPS shooter, the accuracy of diretion is what matters. Of coures, the sound can't be muffled, without ass or losing audio streams (i.e. can't render all 7.1. discrete sounds properly). Those have be done properly too.

Still, in the end, the difference amongst the aforementioned algos is NOT that huge (imho, I'm not a competitive gamer) and I think that one can learn to use any of them (with proper settings) and learn each one's pros/cons.

I have no direct head-2-head comparison experience with DTS X Headphone or Dolby Atmos. Only the software simulated (Windows driver pack) versions and I find them artificial, boomey, echoey and lacking in directional accuracy (YMMV).
Thanks for your insight. I find the usual suspects to all do directional accuracy and imaging pretty well, give or take, so centre channel ‘out-of-my-head’ depth is the key differentiator for me. So far I’ve found Waves NX, SXFI, Boom 3D and some of Darrin Fong’s OOYH room presets to be the most depth-effective affordable options for my ears as the Smyth realiser is out of my price range.
 
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stavros.m

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The SHP9500 are a good pair of cans but why not just spend a bit more and get a dac/amp instead that can power your DT990s from console? The Creative G6 would be fine for that.
thanks for the response. i Was looking at something that might work with xbox one x and stadia. My only issue with the G6 and it is probably just my opinion is my thoughts are that sxfi will be future and why buy an older system

thanks
 
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Thanks for your insight. I find the usual suspects to all do directional accuracy and imaging pretty well, give or take, so centre channel ‘out-of-my-head’ depth is the key differentiator for me. So far I’ve found Waves NX, SXFI, Boom 3D and some of Darrin Fong’s OOYH room presets to be the most effective affordable options for my ears as the Smyth realiser is out of my price range.
For me, in 3D FPS games, the most difficult thing for VSS algos to do is front-to-back localization.

If you are blind and use d DirectSound3D positional source at same virtual distance from you chanding randomly 360 degrees around you, then it can be really difficult to tell if the sound is directly in front of you or directly behind your back. This with no visual cues (i.e. doing eyes closed).
 
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SierraMadre

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thanks for the response. i Was looking at something that might work with xbox one x and stadia. My only issue with the G6 and it is probably just my opinion is my thoughts are that sxfi will be future and why buy an older system

thanks
Ah, if it’s Xbox, the chat function might be an issue with the G6 as Xbox can’t do any kind of audio over USB (although there are workarounds apparently’ and your DT990s are probably too high impedance to be effectively driven by something like the Astro Mixamp TRor one of the Turtle Beach dac/amps.

I’d take the Fidelio X2s over the SHP9500 though. The successor Fidelio X3 is coming next year so I’d imagine retailers will be looking to shift unsold inventory via heavy discounts over the course of this weekend if you haven’t checked already.
 
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For me, in 3D FPS games, the most difficult thing for VSS algos to do is front-to-back localization.

If you are blind and use d DirectSound3D positional source at same virtual distance from you chanding randomly 360 degrees around you, then it can be really difficult to tell if the sound is directly in front of you or directly behind your back. This with no visual cues (i.e. doing eyes closed).
Yeah front vs back seems to be the holy grail for a lot of people but it’s something I’ve never personally had problems differentiating with any of the VSS algorithms I’ve tried.
 
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I really love almost everything about my K702 I can't go back to my old headphones like DT 990 or He-400.
The sound signature, the soundstage, the clear, analytical, airy sound fits me very well.
The one thing I'm missing is sound depth (K702 has a very oval soundstage) when using VSS like GSX, SBX or DTS:X.

Am I right, that the only headphones which provide a better depth while maintaining the same sound and soundstage are HD800s and K812?
What about trading (some) of the width for depth but still with the same soundsignature?
Would be a DT 1990 or a T1.2 a better fit?
 
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Well, I have a wifey-lemma (wife-dilemma) as of last night.

I currently have a pair of Audeze Mobius that I've been using for gaming. She apparently was talking to me while I was playing some MW yesterday, and I didn't reply at all. Short story is she told me to find some headphones to game with so that I can hear her while I use them. I sold off all my headphone gear about 1-1.5 years ago and used a Corsair Void Pro and sometimes my Mobius. I ditched the Void Pro because it, frankly, sucked for everything (except a cheap wireless set). I will use these almost exclusively on PC.

I'm debating between the following cans:

Philips Fidelio X2HR
Shure 1840
Audioquest Nighthawk Carbon
AKG 712 Pro

I have had a K702 65th anniversary (that I purchased off of MLE way back in the day), and a Fidelio x2, and I had a Shure 1540. All 3 were comfy, but the original Nighthawk was possibly comfier. The Shure that I had for a while was nice and sounded great, but my ears touched the inside of the cups.

Any opinions? I'd like to purchase today or tomorrow. But I'd also need an AMP/DAC as I don't have those anymore either. I need suggestions, quickly.
 
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ronfifer

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I really love almost everything about my K702 I can't go back to my old headphones like DT 990 or He-400.
The sound signature, the soundstage, the clear, analytical, airy sound fits me very well.
The one thing I'm missing is sound depth (K702 has a very oval soundstage) when using VSS like GSX, SBX or DTS:X.
I got mine last week and enjoying it very much in competitive fps. I hear new sounds for the first time in games i have been playing for 2+ years. May i please know how did you try the GSX, SBX and DTS:X VSS? Using external sound cards or using software? I'm particularly interested in how you tried DTS:X with your K702. Thank you and sorry i dont have an answer to your question.
 
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Well, I have a wifey-lemma (wife-dilemma) as of last night.

I currently have a pair of Audeze Mobius that I've been using for gaming. She apparently was talking to me while I was playing some MW yesterday, and I didn't reply at all. Short story is she told me to find some headphones to game with so that I can hear her while I use them. I sold off all my headphone gear about 1-1.5 years ago and used a Corsair Void Pro and sometimes my Mobius. I ditched the Void Pro because it, frankly, sucked for everything (except a cheap wireless set). I will use these almost exclusively on PC.

I'm debating between the following cans:

Philips Fidelio X2HR
Shure 1840
Audioquest Nighthawk Carbon
AKG 712 Pro

I have had a K702 65th anniversary (that I purchased off of MLE way back in the day), and a Fidelio x2, and I had a Shure 1540. All 3 were comfy, but the original Nighthawk was possibly comfier. The Shure that I had for a while was nice and sounded great, but my ears touched the inside of the cups.

Any opinions? I'd like to purchase today or tomorrow. But I'd also need an AMP/DAC as I don't have those anymore either. I need suggestions, quickly.
Monoprice m570 + Liquid Spark/Modi 3

This setup has performed really well for me. I know the x2 are $100 rn and that’s a really good deal. No where near as clear and accurate as the m570 but for the price you can’t go wrong. Dt880 is a cheaper alternative to the m570. No detachable cable though. Not a fan of the k712. K702 non annies or the K7XX from drop.com are good choices if you want Akg again. The K7xx are actually based off of the k702 annies. The Hifiman 4xx is also a good choice, I’d actually pick these over the Akg. If you want something more high end they maybe the Focal Elex. Haven’t tried these personally but have heard very good things about them for both its music and gaming performance. ZMF Aeolus is another headphone I have my eyes set on.
 
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